Thursday, 16 July 2015

An afternoon visit to Tomar - Festa dos Tabuleiros, the festive procession (cont.) - The 12th of July 2015


I was impressed by a few things amongs which were the fact that many of the ladies carrying the tabuleiros belong to the new generation, which might imply this tradition will be kept alive for a long time to come. 
Both girls and women seemed particularly proud and happy to carry them, despite the difficulty and strain associated to it. I did see a few (not more than four in total hand the tabuleiros to their companions, who then according to the traditional procedures have to carry it on their shoulders, once they haven't got a cloth pad to put them on).
Traditional characters such as the water distributors carrying the wather pitchers and the fireworks discharger could be seen walking along the procession ... cries from the audience could be heard as encouraging words were pronounced "Go on ladies ... you are strong ... you can carry them all the way!" .... the profusion of vibrant coulours and outstandingly beautiful paper flower arrangements had us all mesmerised ... and as they gathered in the square in perfectly organised rows before having their tabuleiros placed on the ground prior to the ceremony of the blessing the crowd cheered loudly.
The symbolic chariots pulled by oxen reminded us all that the following day those blessed loaves of bread together with chunks of  meat and wine would be distributed to the poor as part of the cerimonial Bodo or Pêza as the sacred shared meal is called. 

By the time I got back to the train station the party was still on and would certainly continue throughout the evening. I was exhausted, despite not having carried anything but particularly happy to have witnessed such a traditional and meaningful event.


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